The more I delve into this lifestyle change, and what the long-term implications of bad habits are, the more I have become aware of some of my bad eco-habits.
One of the worst habits I have had is wasting water by letting the tap run while I’m shaving, washing dishes, watering plants, etc. When I shave, I have always let the water run so that it would stay warm when I rinsed off my safety razor before reapplying it to my face. Shaving with a cold razor is no fun!
Another one is that I’ve never become completely devoted to recycling trash. I am much better at saving trimmings of food for the compost pile than I am at recycling paper and plastic products every day. At best, I am only recycling about 25% of the paper and plastic products that get tossed after I use them.
One more, I also drive to all my favorite grocery markets on weekends even though one of the stores I use is only a mile from my house. I also like other produce markets much better, but most of them are at least five miles away, still not too far, but I will often go out of my way to go to one of these because of preferences that have little to do with economy or quality. Maybe, the clerks are friendlier, the stores more appealing in appearance, etc. I should do better on this.
The first step, I suppose, is recognizing the problem. I have that part down.
Making behavioral changes requires some planning, just like changing my eating and food shopping patterns. I’ve begun working on the water use and have reduced it a good bit already. Still, for example, I find myself carelessly letting the water run while putting dishes in the dishwasher, instead of handwashing all of them in the sink, and then rinsing all of them at once, using a drain board to dry them.
The recycling thing is “system” problem as far as I’m concerned. It’s a matter of making separate bins available in the waste collection places, and I need to figure this out and get it done.
The grocery store shopping is an issue that can be resolved in a couple of ways. I can make sure I stop during the week on my commute home, because I pass right by the store, and pick up the large items, and then walk on the weekends when I have some smaller, non-perishable things to bring home. I’ve done this before, more for the exercise than anything else, and I can do it again. I could also get a bicycle, but that might be a little more risky in the heavy traffic lanes I would have to use (6-lane boulevards and such).
Here is an article that inspired my post from Mother Earth News:
How to Break Your Eco-Harmful Habits – Nature and Environment – MOTHER EARTH NEWS